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Published On: Sun, Feb 23rd, 2014

Dengue fever cases in Fiji continues to rise, 4,600 cases reported

The dengue fever outbreak on the island of Fiji continues to grow with the latest numbers from the Ministry of Health reporting 4,600 cases, according to a Fiji Times report Saturday.

Aedes aegypti Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti
Image/CDC

In addition, they report that there may be another 3000 to 4000 suspected cases that are not reported and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that Fiji and other Pacific islands should expect an increase of dengue in coming months.

“The number of cases is expected to continue to increase in the coming months in many places, including Fiji, French Polynesia and Kiribati,”Jane Wallace, WHO’s senior health adviser at the South Pacific office in Suva said.

“As children are born who have not been infected with a specific dengue virus serotype, they create a susceptible cohort.

“Therefore, it is not uncommon for dengue serotypes to re-emerge in the Pacific after being absent for 15 to 20 years, likely because the proportion of the population that is susceptible has increased above a certain threshold.”

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of five (researchers recently identified a fifth dengue subtype, the first in 50 years)  related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever. There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

 

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Fiji dengue outbreak tops 10,000 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] dengue fever outbreak has more than doubled on the Pacific island of Fiji since our last report on Feb. 23, with the total number of cases  now being reported is “We had well over 10,000 already and […]

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